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The Register: MS claims breakup will kill next-generation Windows project

May 18, 2000, 13:58 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

"The exact wording is: "Microsoft cannot undertake such a risky venture [developing NGWS], which will cost more in constant-dollar terms than Boeing's development of the 747 or NASA's first mission to the moon, unless Microsoft can call upon all of the company's resources in seeking to make it a success. Those resources include people and technologies on both sides of the bright line the government seeks to draw through Microsoft's tightly knit organisation." Microsoft then goes on to claim that: "Consumers will suffer if Microsoft no longer has the ability to undertake ambitious projects like Next Generation Windows Services, which (if successful) promises to transform the way in which consumers use the Internet, to the benefit of the entire economy."

"This was contained in a brief entitled "Defendant Microsoft Corporation's summary response to plaintiffs' proposed final judgment" which Microsoft chose not to publish at the same time as the other five documents that we previously considered, although it was filed with the Court at the same time. The most likely explanation is that Microsoft did not want this one discussed too widely in the media, because of the wild statements in it. On the whole it adds up to being Microsoft's ranting and raving response to the DoJ proposed remedies, and it looks as though it was produced more as a cheerleaders' manual for faithful Microsoft supporters rather than for judicial purposes - but Microsoft may be numbering the judges of the Court of Appeals amongst its supporters."

"But the threat to NGWS probably is real. The radical plan to evolve Windows into an all-encompassing Internet services platform is due to have some flesh put on its bones at the beginning of next month, but from what's known already it seems pretty clear NGWS will further blur, possibly even abolish, the lines between OS and app, and that much of it will fall into the judge's definition of middleware. Microsoft argues that NGWS is innovation, while the judge and the government are more likely to see it as the mother of all antitrust violations. So blocking NGWS, from the government's point of view, would be a good thing."

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